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Rep. Gianforte signs bipartisan resolution pushing against minor league baseball cuts

Posted at 8:55 AM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 10:55:03-05

A bipartisan group of U.S. House members, including Rep. Greg Gianforte of Montana, formally introduced a resolution Tuesday urging Major League Baseball to drop a proposal to cut 42 minor league teams, including all of the Pioneer League.

The nonbinding measure is the latest response from elected officials to the plan, which would eliminate teams playing in short seasons, including three in Montana, in an effort to cut costs.

Gianforte was also among 106 representatives who signed a letter in November opposing the cuts.

The resolution highlights how Congress has allowed Major League Baseball a decades-long exemption from federal anti-trust laws, dating back to the 1920s, and the importance of minor league baseball to local communities and economies.

"I’m proud to stand together with Republicans and Democrats to urge Major League Baseball to reconsider its decision and keep our minor league teams," Gianforte, a Republican, said in a statement.

Read the full text of the resolution here .

The four Montana teams on the chopping block are the Billings Mustangs, the Missoula Paddleheads and the Great Falls Voyagers.

The proposed cuts were first made public in October in advance of baseball's winter meetings, where teams gather to discuss league business and transactions.

The offer is part of negotiations between major and minor league baseball for a new operating agreement after the 2020 season.

That means the Pioneer League will play this summer, but what's next is unknown.